Ever get that feeling – you know the kind? That feeling in your gut, deep down, that something is off? Be it is with people, a situation, a room you’ve entered, every so often a feeling will come over you that tells you, “something is hinky in Norway.”
I get those feelings all of the time and it used to be, I would ignore them (stuff the intuition altogether). Anymore, I’m trying to identify it and go with it. For whatever reason, I’ve been faced with situations where I’ve really had to stay tuned to my boundaries, stay “grounded” and in my own head. This way, when a ‘feeling’ comes over me, I’m better able to have that feeling guide me as opposed to rule me.
I recently wrote about an individual that reappeared in my life and when their stories simply didn’t add up, I chose to investigate to find out their intentions… Come to find out, his intentions were far from my best interest… Well, let’s just say that I’m having those ‘hinky’ feelings once again. This person is considered to be “one of the nicest people”, “truly a gem”; however, recent encounters are showing me a bit of a darker side. It’s when I have conflicting images like this that I can drive myself crazy. (Who and what should I believe?) Should I believe what I see? Or, what I feel?
Luckily this only happens on rare occasions (let me just say, “Thank you Jesus!”) and luckily not every person I meet is hiding an alter-ego under their clever mask. But when it does happen, it can make me a bit nutty and want to crawl under the nearest bed for shelter and just pull the sheets over my head until the following spring. Truth is, we all have our ‘alter-egos’, the question I have is; are some of those ‘alters’ more toxic than others? Or is it a matter of chemistry? Like the ingredients to a recipe, certain ingredients mix well together, while others react adversely. Maybe that’s the same with personalities. Is it really that simple?
If that’s the case, then maybe it’s not this person at all; maybe the common denominator in all these scenarios is me. Maybe I’m the dysfunction and she’s the norm. At any rate, I only know that when we go out, I feel as though there is nothing I do that seems to be good enough. I’m always ‘one-upped’ – if it isn’t they, that have done [x, y, z], it’s their children, their sister/brother… you name it. They will have (or will have known someone) who is better than, or who has done a better job, written a better book, sung a better song, can learn faster at the guitar (fill in the blank), knows the Queen of England! – than I will ever do or be.
I know I sound bitter (my apologies – I really don’t know what has come over me!), it’s just that I thought I’d come to grips with my own limitations and that I had finally come into my own. Then I came across some people who (again), without thinking, caused me pain, caused me to doubt myself, and caused me to doubt just how special and wonderful I truly am. In truth – they don’t have that power – only I hold that key – and I know this. But, certain personalities, when challenged or when feeling challenged or feeling inferior, will do whatever they can to place you on a lower rung that that ladder of success. That saying rings very true, especially now – “There are many who feel that only by dowsing out your light, will theirs burn that much brighter.”
Each of us walk through this life with many gifts, gifts that we take for granted or that we, quite possibly, don’t even know we have. What I mean by the latter is that we can do something, anything (make widgets for example) and we do this every day, so well, without thought. But, there are those other people who want to be able to make widgets too (just like you do) and they are green with envy. But instead of showing their envy, they simply tell you how ‘fine’ your work is and add how they have received or know a person who received (be it a friend, relative) an award in widget making; and they just go on and on about them! Normally I would be very happy for the widget making friend, but it’s in the delivery. It’s the timing. It’s that I’m being ‘one upped’. And, quite frankly? I don’t like it; it makes me feel inadequate and uncomfortable. It’s that smile on the face while they shake my hand; all the while, the other hand is stabbing me in the back.
Why can’t we be genuinely happy for people? Be genuinely happy for another’s accomplishments? I’ve noticed this about myself, when I listen to a fellow singer or watch a fellow actor while indulging in a little thing called the ‘comparison game’, I can start to think ill of my own talents, thereby feeding that Green-eyed Monster. But, when confident in my own skin and the choices I’ve made, I can enjoy those around me. I can also be open and be in the moment; I can be present and enjoy another’s gift. Because that is what this is all about, really.
Today is a new day and I’m sipping my coffee and enjoying my back patio, with the sun streaming in thinking, thinking of all the lessons over these recent weeks. This too, together with the recent weeks, seems to be teaching me about my boundaries. Learning that this particular individual has their own issues; I don’t have anything to be sorry for or to make up for. Their need to ‘one-up’ me is their own feelings of inferiority. And I know this too. All I can do is trust in my choice and my journey. Stay focused on my goals. Understand that there are others who have their own challenges and sorrows; just like I did and do. They will come to understand the truth, that your candle does not burn brighter by dowsing out the light of another’s; to truly have ‘brightness’ you must delight in the warmth and the glow of those around you. That, my friends, is true light and brightness.
- turning envy into gratitude (daybydaymasterpiece.com)
- Why Women Fear Envy and Why We Don’t Need To (psychologytoday.com)